James A. Cole of Mora, died on Saturday, July 26, 2014 at home. He was 76 years old.
MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held at 10:30 am. on Saturday, Aug. 2, at the Mora United Methodist Church with Rev. Robert Pesola officiating.
MEMORIAL VISITATION will be held from 5-7 pm. Friday, Aug. 1, at the Mora United Methodist Church and also one hr. prior to the service at the church on Saturday.
**Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers to Kanabec County Hospice or the Mora United Methodist Church.**
James Alan Cole, of Mora, formerly of rural Isle, passed away on July 26, 2014 at his home. He was 76 years old.
Jim was born on a small farm in Hillman Township on June 23, 1938, the fourth son of Charles Cyrus and Mae (Durant) Cole. He attended grade school in Warman and graduated from Mora High School in 1956.
Jim was united in marriage to Edna (Lakeberg) Cole on May 31, 1957 at the Mora Methodist Church. They made their home in Mora until their purchase of acreage on Pine Grove Farm north of Mora in 1958. In 1974 they built a home on the Lakeberg family farm moving there in August of that year. They resided there until their recent move to Mora.
Jim’s earliest work experience was hauling cans of milk with Clinton Bassett and brothers, Kip and Earl, and working with his dad hauling livestock to St. Paul. After graduation he began working at the Farmer’s Co-op Creamery and Drying Plant (later known as Lakeland Dairies) and then Land O’Lakes Ice Cream in 1970. With the closing of that plant in 1991, he started growing his beard which was to stay with him from then on. He was employed at Daneco which ran the Five County composting and recycling facility until that closure in 1994. After a brief time at Spring Lake Plastics in Cambridge, he resigned to devote full time to his Noah’s Ark themed craft business. Fostering a carefully planned image as Noah, he delighted in demonstrating his Puzzle Ark to children of all ages at craft shows in several states.
Over the years Jim was a very active member of the Mora Jaycees and the Mora Conservation Club. He served on the Boards for the Brighter Day Activity Center and Senior Citizen Center. He was also involved in Boy Scouts and 4-H and he and Edna were foster parents for several youth and babies. Upon retiring from the craft circuit in 2002, Jim became even more active in his community serving as a First Responder for the McGrath area and Kanabec County, the Kanabec County Sheriff’s Reserve, Ford Township Planning Commission and many positions on the Mora United Methodist Church Board. Jim enjoyed recording and submitting Ford Township’s weather data to the State of Minnesota. He was the driving force behind the annual reunions of his high school graduation class and loved doing that. His years as a local Santa were very special to him also.
Jim dearly loved his family – his wife, his children and grandchildren. He delighted in cheering on his grandkids at all their school activities especially cross country. A special ‘borrowed cousin’, nieces, nephews and their families were all very special to him. He loved his daylilies – always insisting on planting in ‘groups of one’ so he could have more varieties. He loved cutting wood and doing any and all outside chores on the farm. While he quit hunting deer, he never tired of watching them – even when they were eating his beloved daylilies. His many dogs were a source of great joy. Jim loved to read and his Kindle was his constant companion. He enjoyed the fellowship while working on repair and maintenance projects at his church. He always greeted everyone with a smile and a big hug.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Cy and Mae Cole, brothers, Clifford ‘Kip’ Cole, Earl Cole and Robert Cole.
Jim is survived by his wife, Edna; daughters, Judy Cole (Todd Lerbakken) Blaine, MN and Sue Headlee (Dan) Pequot Lakes, MN; grandchildren, Jacob, Sam, and Elsa Headlee. Extended family includes sisters-in-law Leoda Cole, Sonja Cole, both of Mora, and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
A Memorial Service was held on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at Mora United Methodist Church with Rev. Robert Pesola officiating. Music was provided by Jacki Peterson and the Mora United Methodist Praise Team. Urn bearers were Jim’s grandchildren: Jacob, Sam and Elsa Headlee. Memorials may be given to either the Mora United Methodist Church or Kanabec County Hospice. Arrangements were handled by Akkerman-Ingebrand Funeral Home of Mora.